Two of our favourite cities were brought together for two nights of incredible food and amazing cocktails.

Down the unsuspecting alleyway on a crisp autumn’s night, Secret Foodies diners huddled together in anticipation of what was to come. In front of them stood a tall door, plastered with a special note. It read:

“Can you keep a secret? You will be let in at 7pm. Pending password.”

Before long, the door slowly creaked open. It was time to reveal the secret password, which guests were sent via SMS earlier that day. The Secret Foodies team asked each guest to reveal the special code, “I met your Matcha”.

Upon being granted entry, guests travelled through to a fairy lit garage, better known as Busby’s. The secret room that lies beneath Riley Street Garage in Woolloomooloo, Busby’s private dining room channels a distinctly 1920s art deco feel, complete with rich leather seating, a dark wooden bar and black and gold accents.

Here guests enjoyed the first drink of the evening, a Saké Spritz. Working in partnership with the legends at Belvedere for the evening, each drink incorporated the iconic Polish rye vodka, giving the cocktails a particularly high-end feel.

Ms Darlinghurst, aka Alex Adams, soon instructed her guests head upstairs for an impending feast. Influences of Manhattan’s bustling Meatpacking District shone in the main dining room of Riley Street Garage, complete with art deco tiling, jazz tunes and dim lighting permeating the industrial space.

As our foodies were seated for dinner, Riley Street Garage’s signature pacific oysters with an umeboshi gel arrived to the table, perfectly matched with a Belvedere martini, shaken with pickled ume brine, sake and umeshu.

For the second course, a crowd-pleasing dish of whitefish sashimi and apple ginger-soy was served. The freshness and vitality of the kingfish was accentuated by the matching cocktail, a Clarified Apple Spritz, made with Belvedere, pickled ginger and sake.

With everybody’s appetites suitably whetted, it was time to take things up a notch. For the next dish of the evening, guests enjoyed Tsukune, a traditional Japanese chicken mince skewer coated in a sticky soy sauce. These moorish skewers were met with a crispy nest, cradling a whole egg yolk. Piecing the yoke and letting it ooze over the plate not only looked impressive but added a delicious richness to the overall dish. This course was paired with a punchy Yuzu sour, made with Belvedere Lake Bartezek and a sake float using sesame ice cream.

Tying in nicely with the cold autumn weather was the main course, a perfectly braised Hatcho miso beef cheek. To accompany this decadent main, an equally decadent truffle mash potato arrived at the table, along with charred broccolini.

While pairing a red meat dish to a Belvedere-based cocktail might prove difficult for some, the bar staff pulled it off with ease, serving up a Tokyo twist on a classic New York cocktail. The Tokyo Manhattan was created with Belvedere Smogory Forest, sherry and vermouth and proved to be incredibly good.

Leaving guests with the iconic flavours of Japan was dessert, a matcha mousse teamed with black sesame ice cream and caramel. For the final tipple of the evening, how can you say no to a ‘surprise’ tasting shot?

With the sweet taste of dessert still lingering in everyone’s mouths, Ms Darlinghurst introduced everyone to Riley Street’s Executive Chef, Regan Porteous. Regan spoke of everything from the menu to his experiences working as a chef and his favourite cocktail (a negroni) and his favourite thing to eat (a roast).

Special thanks must go to the talented team at Riley Street Garage for making the evening so memorable for everyone. A shout out must also go to Belvedere Vodka, for supplying the spirit base for our great cocktails.

You can check out photos from the event here

Secret Foodies also offer private events for groups 20ppl+. For more information and to book, click here.

Riley Street Garage
55 Riley Street, Woolloomooloo

Riley Street Garage is open Tuesday to Saturday 12pm to late, Sunday and Monday Closed.